Sprinting Past the Inflection Point: Going for Gold with Digital Video

In 1964, NBC made its Olympic television debut with the broadcast of the Summer Olympics from Tokyo. This was made possible through the Syncom 3 satellite, which delivered daily highlights of the Games across the Pacific within a few hours of the events. Additionally, 1964 marked the first opening ceremony that audiences watched on TV in color. Although seemingly primitive by modern-day standards, these advances made an indelible mark on the television landscape and once again showcased what was possible in the delivery of content to mass audiences.

In July 2012, the London Olympics created yet another landmark moment in delivering the games to fans and enthusiasts. This was the very first time in Olympics history where the Games were available to all audiences across internet-connected mobile devices, with 3,500+ hours of live streaming. The digital content landscape has changed dramatically and will continue to evolve into the future. Over the last several months, we’ve seen a radical shift in the appetite of media companies to bring their content online and across mobile platforms. We’ve moved from seeing experimental tactics to tactical implementations across the entire spectrum of content delivery. The blue sky concept of having your content “go where you go” is becoming a tangible reality.

Moving forward, the industry can expect to see massive developments in the technological infrastructure supporting the migration of TV content to mobile, in addition to a heavy handed focus on creating a seamless consumer experience. We’ll continue to see significant innovation from companies in areas such as content creation and delivery, ad insertion, user authentication and the measurement of ROI; all of which will be focused around the changing habits of mainstream audiences. Essentially, we are well on our way in achieving a scenario where watching content on a mobile device completely mirrors the experience of watching traditional broadcast TV.

It’s not only an exciting time for brands that produce content, but for the audiences that view videos on a daily basis. With the mass proliferation of smartphone and tablet devices, the opportunity will only continue to grow. Much work is to be done, but the traction exists and the goals feel within reach. We’ll wait to see where the conversation lies once the 2014 Olympic Games come across – who knows what innovations they’ll bring!

Jeremy Helfand, Vice President of Monetization, Adobe

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